The new C-130 will bring hundreds of new jobs to Robins Air Force Base, but how is employment looking in the rest of the central Georgia area?

Among the rows of computers at the Georgia Department of Labor in Macon, you'll find Michael Carswell typing away.

"I'm checking out all the job options," says Carswell.

He's been unemployed for two weeks, and is looking for a new job.

"Like Home Depot, Frito Lay, Tractor Supply," says Carswell.

There are a lot of options, and Bob Thompson, who heads up this career center, says there's also a lot of openings now.

"Unemployment fell from 5.7 % to 4.8 % over a 12-month cycle," says Thompson.

The region Thomson is talking about includes Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, and Twiggs counties.

"In the last year, that 5-county area added 200 new jobs," says Thomspon.

And Thompson says there's bound to be even more jobs available in 2018.

"Things are picking up in Georgia, I know there's some new employers who are getting ready to come into the middle Georgia area," says Thompson.

A big one? Amazon. The new facility, set to open in South Bibb by the end of the year, promises to bring over 500 news jobs.

"We've already had some postings from Amazon like IT managers and operations managers," says Thompson.

Thompson says since January 1st, unemployment claims for the 5-county area are also down 14 percent from 2017.

Less claims equals more employment, and Carswell hopes to be part of that statistic in the near future.

"I'm hoping I get a call back," says Carswell.

The average unemployment rate of that 5-county area is still slightly higher than the state average of 4.4% and the national average of 4.1%.